The US government-supported Public Broadcasting System (PBS) recently ran a five part series dubbed Inside Putin’s Russia. With a different theme each night, it purports to give a realistic look at Russia today. The image conveyed is of a Russia that is undemocratic with widespread state repression, violence and propaganda. Following are significant distortions and falsehoods in the five part documentary.
Episode 1: “How Putin Redefined what it means to be Russian”
In this episode, the documentary:
(a) Claims that Russian identity is based on “projection of power”.
In reality, “projection of power” characterizes the US much more than Russia. For the past two centuries the United States has expanded across the continent and globe. The last century is documented in the book Overthrow: American’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. The US currently has nearly 800 foreign military bases in over 70 countries. In contrast, Russia has military bases in only two countries beyond the former Soviet Union: Syria and Vietnam.
(b) Ignores crucial information about events in Ukraine.
Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine and Crimea are presented as examples of “projection of power”. However, basic facts are omitted from the documentary. There is no mention of the violent February 2014 coup in Kiev nor the involvement of neoconservatives such as Sen McCain and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. In a December 2013 speech, Nuland outlined her intense involvement in Ukraine including US “requirements” that Ukraine choose a “European future” since the US had “invested $5 billion to assist”. Days before the coup in February 2014 Nuland was captured on audio planning the composition of the coup leadership.
(c) Ignores Crimea’s historic connections with Russia and Ukrainian violence.
The documentary says: “In 2014 in Crimea, Russia helped install separatist leaders who rushed through a referendum that led to Crimea’s annexation.” This gives the misleading impression that the ...
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Die Revolution ist wie Saturn, sie frißt ihre eignen Kinder. (Revolution is like Saturn, it devours its own children.)
— Georg Büchner (1813–1837), German dramatist, revolutionary
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